SOUTHEND United legend Adam Barrett has been presented with a surprise trophy to mark the end of his long career.
The popular centre-back opted to retire from playing last week.
But Ian Smith, who helps to run Leighwood United under 10 Tigers along with Barrett, felt the defender’s efforts deserved to be acknowledged.
And he therefore organised a guard of honour and a trophy presentation to be carried out before Leighwood faced Hullbridge at the weekend.
“I felt as though Adam didn’t really get the send off he deserved from Southend so we wanted to put something on to congratulate him on his career and to also say thank you for everything he’s done in the community,” said Smith.
“Adam’s son Harry plays for our team so we got him to present the trophy and it was a really nice touch.
“Adam didn’t know anything about what was happening and he seemed to be dead chuffed about it all.
“It was only something small but it was the least Adam deserved for everything he’s done in our area both on and off the pitch.
“Everyone knows just what Adam has done on the pitch and that he’s Southend through and through.
“But he does an awful lot for charity and always goes above and beyond what is expected.
“He’s the type of person who will be asked to attend a function for an hour and will still be there four hours later.
“He’s a really nice chap who will do anything for you and that’s why we all wanted to do something like this for him.”
Trophy time - Southend United hero Adam Barrett receives his trophy from his son Harry and daughter Georgia before kick off at Edwards Hall School
Barrett’s daughter Georgia was also in attendance for the presentation and the defender was touched to have been given the award.
“I was really taken aback by it all it to be honest,” said the 37-year-old.
“I help out on a matchday with the team my boy plays for, Ian does most of the work and it was a really nice thing for him and the team to do.
“We have a really nice group of parents so it’s great to be a part of and it was lovely for the teams to form a guard of honour and present me with a trophy.”
Barrett, who grew up supporting Blues, made a combined total of 354 appearances in his two spells with his home-town club.
The defender won three promotions with the Shrimpers and also lined up for Plymouth, Mansfield, Bristol Rovers, Crystal Palace, Leyton Orient, Bournemouth, Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon.